The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the growth of the streaming music service, which has contributed to the continuous growth of the music industry. However, this growth has led to several changes in the way music is produced.
One of the primary changes is the payment conditions for streaming. Songs that are played for more than 30 seconds have to reduce their intro or instrumental section to the shortest possible length in order to engage listeners and prevent them from skipping the song. Currently, the hook or chorus section of a song often appears within the first 5-10 seconds.
Renowned artist and producer Mark Ronson also revealed that songs are now being compressed to a shorter duration, usually less than 3 minutes and 15 seconds. This is because if listeners do not listen to the entire song, the platform records a partial play, resulting in a lower algorithm ranking. This directly impacts the inclusion of songs in popular playlists such as “Today’s Top Hits,” which has a large number of regular listeners and provides opportunities for monetization.
Blogger Michael Tauberg analyzed statistics on popular songs and found that the average length of hit songs has decreased significantly since 2000. In the first half of 2021, most chart-topping songs were less than 3 minutes long.
Another aspect to consider is the impact of albums. While individual song listening follows a specific pattern, albums provide another listening experience. Artists now include more songs in one album to increase revenue and opportunities. A clear example of this behavior is Taylor Swift’s album “Midnights,” where all the songs simultaneously entered the charts, or Ed Sheeran’s album “Divide,” where every song made it to the charts. This behavior forced the UK rankings company to introduce a rule that limits an artist to having only three songs on the chart at any given time.
Lastly, we have the genre diversity. In the past, physical CD sales were categorized, leading to specific genres being given less attention. However, in the streaming era, these genres have a greater chance of reaching a global audience. This is evident in the popularity of Latin and K-Pop music in recent years.
The variety of genres that people are interested in has also resulted in many songs blending multiple styles into one. Whether it is through the melody or featuring collaborations, this trend increases the chances of songs appearing on playlists or in broader categories.
In conclusion, the growth of streaming music services has revolutionized the music industry. From shorter payment conditions and compressed song durations to the inclusion of more songs in albums and the increased diversity of genres, the landscape of music has evolved to meet the demands of the digital age.
TLDR: Streaming services have changed the music industry, leading to shorter song durations and altered payment conditions. Albums now include more songs to increase opportunities and revenue. Genres that were previously overlooked now have a better chance of reaching a global audience. This has resulted in songs blending multiple styles and increasing their chances of appearing on playlists.